1. Bringing your kitten home / set up:When you bring your new kitten home it's best to have their food and water, litter box, toys, scratcher, and bed set up in a small, quiet room such as a bedroom or bathroom (toilet lid down). The smaller space helps them feel secure more quickly, it will also help them to feel safe using the litter box. Keep your kitten in that room for a week or so, while they adjust to their new life (environment, smells, people, etc.). You don't want to let your new kitten roam the entire house freely at first, this will overwhelm them. Start them out in a small area and then gradually let them explore the house further (over one to two weeks time). This way they will adapt more easily to their new home, and they will know the location of the litter boxes. Keep the litter boxes easy for kitty to access, and take them to the litter box often until they know where they are. If your home is large it's best to have 2 or 3 litter boxes located in different rooms of your house. If your home is multi-level it's a good idea to have one litter box on each level of the house. You want to avoid a situation where they might have an accident because they didn't know where the litter box was, or because it was too far away for them to make it there on time.
2. Litter and Boxes: We use pine pellet litter which is really great, and natural! They are also easy to transition to unscented Tidy Cat clay litter, it works great but you have to make sure the kittens don't eat it (when it gets stuck to their paws after using the litter box) because it can cause tummy troubles. Start with just a regular open top cat litter box, no domes or lids, until the kitten is a little older. A Dome is a little intimidating to a young kitten and you don’t want them to be scared of the litter box. We use both regular/basic open-top litter boxes, and also pine pellets with the Breeze system litter box that has been altered slightly to accommodate the different pellets, you can find videos about how to do this on YouTube.
3. Kitten-Proof your home: You'll want to be sure that you "kitten-proof" your home. Kittens are mischievous and very curious. Put up or away any: Cleaning supplies, electrical cords, plastic bags, poisonous plants (Ivy, Lilies, Amaryllis, Philodendrons, Poinsettias, etc.), cords on blinds, anti-freeze, tiny objects that the kitten might eat (strings, candy wrappers, cotton balls, hair ties, coins, rubber bands, balloons, children toys) rat/mouse poison, yarn, aspirin, tylenol (and other household medicines), needles or pins, etc.
4.Adjusting to other pets: If you have other cats, or dogs, it will take them time to adjust and accept each other. Introduce them slowly after they have been able to sniff each other from under opposite sides of a door, and have had time (a week or so) to get used to the idea of being roomies. This will also give your new kitten a chance to take on the scents of your home and your other pets, which will help your other pet(s) to accept the newcomer more readily.
5 . Scratching posts and toys: Get a scratching post or two. Ragdolls love scratching posts (especially the ones made of cardboard, or sisal rope. If you notice your kitten scratching on something consistently, put a scratching post there. They also love climbing on cat trees/towers, playing with furry fake mice, cat toys, paper bags, and boxes. No plastic bags, and no long strings left unattended. Also, Ragdolls can learn to "fetch", with very little training, you can look up "How to train your cat to fetch" online. :)
6. Feeding: Keep a bowl of dry kitten food available for your kitten to have access to at all times, for free-feeding. Your kitty should be allowed to eat as much and as often as they like, even our adults are allowed to free-feed. We only give them a small amount of canned wet food (1 tablespoon of at a time, as a treat), of Royal Canin Mother & Babycat, wet food as wet food can sometimes give them loose stools if they eat more than that. You can switch your kitten over to a different brand of food if you'd like but we highly recommend they continue eating the high quality Life's Abundance cat food, as Ragdolls do very well on this. Abrupt changes in their diet can give them terrible tummy aches and a nasty litter box. It can even cause them to have diarrhea with or without blood in it. And NO human food!! Also keep in mind that it may take a couple of days before your kitten decides to eat his or her food when you first bring them home, and this is completely normal.
7. Transitional Stress: Your kitten will be under a lot of stress going to their new home. They might even develop diarrhea for a day or two, it has been known to happen so don’t panic. If they continue to have diarrhea after 2 days, I would recommend buying a cat probiotic to keep their GI tract healthy. We use feline FortiFlora. Probiotics are necessary to help restore, and maintain, the natural live bacteria in their digestive system and, in most cases, will clear those loose stools right up. This is a good product to have on hand and can be used daily to maintain a healthy digestive system for your kitten/cat. It can be purchased online. If diarrhea persists for more than just a couple of days, or becomes worse, contact your vet.
8. Sensitivity: Also, cats (especially kittens) have sensitive noses, and your kitten will sneeze from time to time. Especially when getting up from a nap. They are getting used to all sorts of new smells in their new environment. Unless your kitten develops a stuffy nose and watery/teary eyes I wouldn’t worry about an occasional sneeze. If your kitten does get a stuffy nose and teary eyes, it is probably a little kitten cold. Stress can bring this on. Its usually not serious, just something to be aware of. But if it persist for more than a week, or if your kitten stops eating, or drinking water, contact your vet because your kitten may need medicine to help clear it up.
9. Kitty eye gunk: Ragdoll cats (and again, especially kittens) get brown eye-gunk from time to time. Just gently wipe it out with a tissue. This is normal and will become less frequent as your kitten gets older.
10. Indoor vs outdoor: Ragdolls should be strictly indoor cats unless under controlled circumstances; harness and leash, and never left unattended. They are so domesticated and mellow-tempered that they just wouldn't know how to respond to a predator, should one approach. Also, stay up on their vaccinations and deworming (as recommended by your vet), especially if you do decide to take them outside.
11. Spaying/Neutering: We always recommend, and insist on, spaying/neutering by 5 months of age (and earlier is better), before they start maturing sexually. They maintain their health more easily, and they are much happier emotionally when they are fixed before hitting puberty.
12. Adjusting: Your kitten may be a little scared at first. That is normal. It can be stressful for them to move from my house to yours. The kittens have been loved, and handled throughout the day (everyday) since birth, and they have grown to trust us. They will learn to trust you, too, but that may take a few days or even a week to start establishing that trusting bond. So be patient with them, and just give them lots of love, attention, and the occasional treat, and they will be your best friend in no time at all!!
**Please keep in mind that everything stated within, is simply my opinion based on my own personal experience, it is not ever meant to take the place of a licensed veterinarians recommendations.**
These are all products we use for our kitties, on a regular basis.
Click on an image to take you to that product. :)